If you were looking for an admission of fault from the NBA on the part of last night’s officiating, you’re going to be only partially happy.
The Last Two-Minute Report was released today, and the league has said that two off-the-ball offensive fouls called on James Harden with under 10 seconds left in last night’s collapse against the Boston Celtics were the correct calls.
Personally, I thought they were pretty obvious flops by Marcus Smart, but I’m sure some would call that my Rockets red-colored glasses. Here’s the sequence if anyone missed it.
Here's how those final moments went down: two straight offensive fouls on Harden on inbound plays to help the Celtics pull it out. pic.twitter.com/ZgXB1TgxRL— Marc D'Amico (@Marc_DAmico) December 29, 2017
What the report did admit to however, was that the officials missed a multitude of travelling violations on the Celtics in the closing minute, including one on Al Horford as he hit the game-winning shot and another on Marcus Smart on the previous play. In all, the officials missed a total of five travelling violations on the Celtics in the last minute.
It’s not quite the admission we were all hoping for, but at least the report did essentially say what most of us level-headed observers already knew: the Rockets were hosed.
Yes, they still blew a 26-point lead, and for that, they have no one to blame but themselves, but five missed calls in the final minute of a nationally televised, hotly contested game between two top teams is simply inexcusable.
In my book, there were at least seven missed calls (counting the two on Harden that league won’t admit to). Professional officials have got to be better than that.